b. 1877, Lewinston, Maine, US
d. 1943, Ellsworth, Maine, US

"One can enjoy life so much more because of the knowledge that comes with art. One learns to look for art in everything and one aspires or should aspire to be art in everything. Beauty is my one aim in life, beauty in character, in thought, in work, in deed, and in expression on canvas of Nature divine."
Marsden Hartley


The American artist Marsden Hartley was born in Lewiston, Maine in 1877. He died in Ellsworth, Maine, in 1943. The intervening sixty-six years were characterized by countless travels in North America and Europe. Constantly moving, experimenting with style changes and in search new stimulations in his art, Hartley never occupied the same rooms for more than ten months as an adult.

Hartley grew up in a lower working-class home in a small factory town, the youngest of nine children. His given name was Edmond. Of the nine children, only five survived childhood. At the age of eight, following his mother's death and his father’s remarriage to Martha Marsden (whose maiden name he would later adopt), Hartley was sent to live with his sister in Augusta, Maine. Compelled to contribute to his sister's family income, he left school at fifteen to work and soon moved to Cleveland, Ohio, where he began painting lessons in 1896. Demonstrating innate talent, he was awarded a scholarship to the Cleveland School of Art and in 1899 earned a five-year stipend to study at the William Merritt chase New York School of Art.

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